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The How-To Lounge: Packing Lightly

Are you a heavy packer or a light packer? If you're anything like me, you avoid checking luggage at all costs, which requires some serious skill when it comes to packing for a vacation. Since I am such a nervous Nelly about my personal belongings, I have mastered the art of packing a carry on, even leaving room for the extra 4 outfits and 2 handbags just in case of an emergency!

To learn all my secrets to pack a carry on,

  • Choose a duffel bag verses a roller bag. Rollers have a hard casing and don't all fit in all overhead bins. Opt for a soft bag so you can maneuver it over head or under the seat in front of you
  • Have an idea as to what you want to bring on your trip before you start pulling clothes out of your closet. Last minute packing leads to over packing, so don't procrastinate
  • I always lay my clothes out the night before I am ready to pack, take inventory, and inevitably end up putting half of my clothing back in my closet
  • Pack neutral colors so you can re-wear your clothing and just change up your accessories to create a new look. Jewelry, handbags and scarves take up minimal room in your suitcase so load up on add ons
  • Always put pants, jeans, and sweaters on the bottom of your bag to create a foundation for your duffel
  • Roll your clothing. Not only will this method prevent wrinkles, but you are bound to be able to fit much more in your bag
  • Pack shoes in outside pockets if possible or pack them last, on top of all your clothing
  • Pack your undergarments in the crevices between your clothing. There is always extra room that is perfect for socks, bras and underwear. Another good tip is to pack socks or stockings inside your shoes
  • Wear your bulkiest clothing on the plane. Wear your coat and boots, sneakers and jackets, whatever would take up the most room in your bag
  • Toiletries can start to take up a lot of space and since the new law requires nothing over 3 oz to be carried on, make sure to buy all your necessities in travel sizes, and don't forget your plastic bag
  • Always carry your jewelry in your purse. In case your bag doesn't fit in the overhead bin, you never want to check jewelry or any important documents

Remember to check the weather before you start packing so you can be as prepared as possible wherever your destination may be. Hopefully these tips will help you travel lightly, but efficiently, without the annoyance of waiting in line at baggage claim. Safe travels!


Join The Conversation
kendalheart kendalheart 10 years
Oh honestly
XDeexDeeX XDeexDeeX 10 years
Thanks so much for the advice Dear!
andaman andaman 10 years
If you are going to be by the sea, there is no need to pack various shoes. Just pack two types one with heels and one flat sandle. If you jog, pack your jogging shoes also. I think shoes take up a lot of room. Pack plenty of dresses, avoid long trousers and matching tops. You only need 3 bikini max. Don't pack a dozen of them! I know girls who pack seven bikini! My aren't lindsay lohan, no need to change for the paparazzi.
Marci Marci 10 years
I'm a light packer. I can manage for a week with a small carry on. It's all about smart choices and not needing to be the fashionista every leg of the journey. ;)
Midnightkiss4u09 Midnightkiss4u09 10 years
Heavy packer. I've 3 kids.
Luli1 Luli1 10 years
Great advice Dear!
kendalheart kendalheart 10 years
As much as i hate to check luggage, I hate even more not having enough or what i want. I say always overpack...can never have enough stuff on vaca to make you look perfect!
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 10 years
I'm with Dear - I HATE checking luggage and will carry on my at all costs as well. I tend to decide on a trip whether I will wear brown or black as my base color. Weird, I know! But it means I only have to coordinate with set of accessories.
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